Four wheels for a buck

Mike Linn

Roosevelt County Sheriff Tom Gossett doesn’t shop for police cruisers at the dollar store.
But he recently stumbled across a deal from an agency that sells police vehicles for $1 in an effort to beef up Homeland Security nationwide.
Here’s the catch: The cars would be laced with advertisements from local, regional and national sponsors.
The Roosevelt County Commission on Tuesday discussed the possibility of leasing such vehicles from Government Acquisitions for $1 for three years.
On the surface, the deal seems “too good to be true,” Roosevelt County Attorney Randy Knudson said.
But given the mileage on the sheriff’s police cruisers — 11 over 70,000 and one over 230,000 miles according to Gossett — commissioners said it was worth looking into.
“If it doesn’t take away from the distinctiveness of a police vehicle I don’t really have a problem with it,” Commissioner Tom Clark said. “The professionalism is determined by the people in those vehicles. For the bargain we’re getting I think we could almost overcome anything else.”
The advertisements would be conservative. For example, no logos promoting beer or alcohol permitted.
Last year hundreds of government entities adopted the program, according to information provided to the county from Government Acquisitions.
The decals would be placed on the side, top, back and hood of the vehicles, Knudson said.
The ability to get vehicles for the sheriff’s department is contingent upon sponsor interest in the county, according to information from Government Acquisitions.
Also at the meeting:
l The commission voted to increase the budget for the Roosevelt County Detention Center by $225,000 to fund the remainder of the fiscal year.
RCDC Administrator Jesse Luera said the jail population has been increasing throughout the year and he has had to transport many inmates to the Dickens County, Texas detention center.
Currently there are about 90 inmates, Luera said. The RCDC has only 58 beds.
Commissioner Gene Creighton said a majority of the inmates are sent to the RCDC on violation of probation charges.
l Commissioners talked for more than 30 minutes about possibly changing a road department policy that funnels state funds through each of the county’s four districts.
The current system allows each district to get 20 percent of all money allocated for roads by the State Legislature. The remaining 20 percent is dropped in an emergency fund.
Commissioner Paul Grider said he lobbied for funds to fix a road in his District 4, located near the Northwest part of the county.
Grider said according to the current policy he would have to share that money with other districts, even if the money was specifically earmarked for a road in his district.
Commissioners made no decisions on the current policy, but said they hope to revisit the item in the future.